Jim Bolger’s firm belief that he has two star colts on his hands this season could be further heralded at Leopardstown on Sunday, with Mac Swiney set to carry his hopes in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial.
Stablemate Poetic Flare has previously won the Qipco 2000 Guineas, and the County Carlow coach was keen to stress he’s struggling to split the pair – a statement jockey Kevin Manning concurred with at Newmarket on Saturday.
Speaking after the Guineas, Manning – asked to compare Mac Swiney and Poetic Flare – said: “Both worked well, and I rode them both on the grass in two separate pieces of work three years ago. weeks and Jim asked the question and I said if the two showed up (at Newmarket) which one would you ride – and I said “I don’t know.”
Son of Bolger Derby winner New Approach, Mac Swiney took Group 1 honors by beating One Ruler at the Vertem Futurity Trophy in Doncaster in October.
The leader of his potential opposition this weekend is the Bolshoi Ballet formed by Aidan O’Brien, winner of the Ballysax Stakes when he reappears.
The Ballysax-Derrinstown course is familiar to O’Brien with his Derby riders – Galileo winning both races on the road to glory in the first Classic 20 years ago, while High Chaparral did the same 12 months later .
O’Brien also entered High Definition, the Derby favorite, although he is more likely to race at Lingfield on Saturday. Chester defector Sir Lamorak is another of the possible, who total 15 at the entry stage.
There are also 15 in the Irish trial of 1000 guineas, including Acanella, formed by Ger Lyons.
The filly Dansili owned by Juddmonte looked potentially smart to beat the climate of Jessica Harrington – who could re-operate – at this course and distance last month.
The other highlight on a first-class map is the Amethyst Stakes – which features the Lancaster House formed by O’Brien, among 11 entries.